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Old 12th July 2016, 18:21   #1
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Default Forts of Deccan & South India

Forts have always had a special place in my heart as they seem to embody strength, strategy & have their fair share of stories. Being a history buff, forts and palaces have been always been special places of interest and over the last few weeks, I have tried to put together a brief history and guide to the various important & interesting Forts of Deccan & South India.

I have classified these forts into specific categories based on Geographic location & Accessibility.
  • Geographic location
  • Hill forts
  • Sea forts
  • City forts
  • Accessibility
  • Driveable
  • Mild Uphill
  • Wish you were 20 again

To enable easier reading, I have broken down this thread into 3 parts based on the cultural influence that is commonly associated with these forts

Part 1 - Brief History
Part 2 - Maratha Forts
Part 3 - Forts with varied History

The North Entrance Into The Fort Of Bangalore - with Tipu's flag flying
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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangal...ag_flying-.jpg

P.S: Most of these are still on my to do list and hence the pics & info have been sourced from various sites & source credits have been clearly mentioned. Happy reading

Last edited by procrj : 12th July 2016 at 19:25.
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Old 12th July 2016, 18:32   #2
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Default Part 1 - Brief History

A brief peek into our History

This post will provide a brief background and history of the Deccan region, which will set the context for various snippets that I have included in the below posts.

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Some interesting snippets
  • 1645 - 59 - Shivaji has been harassing Adil Shah by capturing forts and coercing fort commanders to hand over forts with minimal bloodshed.

    In 1659, Adilshah sent Afzal Khan, an experienced and veteran general to destroy Shivaji in an effort to put down what he saw as a regional revolt.

    The two met in a hut at the foothills of Pratapgad fort on 10 November 1659. The arrangements had dictated that each come armed only with a sword, and attended by a follower. Shivaji, either suspecting Afzal Khan would attack him or secretly planning to attack,wore armor beneath his clothes, concealed a bagh nakh (metal "tiger claw") on his left arm, and had a dagger in his right hand. Accounts vary on whether Shivaji or Afzal Khan struck the first blow: the Maratha chronicles accuse Afzal Khan of treachery, while the Persian-language chronicles attribute the treachery to Shivaji. In the fight, Afzal Khan's dagger was stopped by Shivaji's armour, and Shivaji's weapons inflicted mortal wounds on the general; Shivaji then signaled his hidden troops to launch the assault on the Bijapuris
    Afzal Khan's death - Shivaji using the tiger claw
    Forts of Deccan & South India-h_death_of_afzal_khan.jpg

  • 1674 - Shivaji Coronated at Raigad Even today the coronation is celebrated

    Now close your eyes & image that you are part of the crowd waiting for your warrior prince on his coronation day. The halls abuzz with hushed conversation, men in fine livery and women lining the balconies and verandas. The smell of wet earth drifting through the halls and wafting along the fragrance of golden blossoms of varied flowers. Imagine the under current of power & excitement running through the halls - Swarajya. An idea that is on the cusp of turning into reality. Now imagine this sudden burst of music busting through the space and drowning you in its rythm. Would you not give up your dreams for this one chance - to belong & be part of history? To change the world and stamp your authority?

    Listen from 5:00

    Shivaji built a strong naval presence across long coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade, to protect the lands from sack of prosperity of subjects from coastal raids, plunder and destruction by Arabs, Portuguese, British, Abyssinians and pirates. Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa for building fighting navy as well as trade. He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline.The fleet grew to reportedly 160 to 700 merchant, support and fighting vessels. He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan. Shivaji's admiral Kanhoji Angre is often said to be the "Father of Indian Navy"
    Paper Scroll fragment showing the war ships of the period
    Forts of Deccan & South India-h_maratha-navy.jpg
    Source: http://hero-for-modern-india.blogspo...on-bharat.html

  • 1761 - Hyder Ali comes to power largely due to the 3rd Battle of Panipat, which the Maratha's lose. Hence they are forced to move troops out of mysore which allowed Hyder Ali to consolidate Sira, Bangalore, Basnagar ad finaly Srirangapatna.

  • 1780 - Battle of Pollilur (near Kanchipuram) - part of the 2nd Anglo Mysore war. Hyder & Tipu use the Mysore rockets to hand the British the worst loss in the Indian Subcontinent.

    The Mysore rockets of this period were much more advanced than what the British had seen, chiefly because of the use of iron tubes for holding the propellant; this enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missile (up to 2 km range). Although rockets existed also in Europe, they were not iron cased, and their range was far less than that of their East Asian counterparts. While these hammered soft iron rockets were crude, the bursting strength of the container of black powder was much higher than the earlier paper construction; thus a greater internal pressure was possible
    Mysore rockets used by Hyder Ali
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    Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...et_warfare.jpg

    After the capture of Srirangpatna in 1799, the British use the mysore rockets as a base to build congreve rockets - used by the british in the Napoleonic wars and Wars of 1812

    Congreve Rockets
    Forts of Deccan & South India-h_congreve_rockets.jpg
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyder_...ve_rockets.gif

  • 1784 - Treaty of Mangalore – Second Anglo Mysore war The last time that an indian ruler imposed terms on the Bristish East India Company.

    Article 3rd.--Immediately after signing and sealing the treaty the English Commissioners shall give written orders for the delivery of Onore, Carwar and Sadasewgude, and forts or Iplaces adjoining thereto, and send a ship or ships to bring away the Garrisons. The Nabob Tippoo Sultan Bahadur will cause the troops in those places to be supplied with provisions and any other necessary assistance for their voyage to Bombay (they paying for the same). The Commissioners will likewise give at the same time written orders for the immediate delivery of the forts & districts of Caroor, Avaracourchy, & Daraporam; and immediately after the release and delivery of the prisoners, as before mentioned, the fort and district of Dindigul shall be evacuated & restored to the Nabob Tippoo Sultan Bahadur, and none of the troops of the Company shall afterwards remain in the country of the Nabob Tippoo Sultan Bahadur.
    Source & Full document: http://web.archive.org/web/200811221...galore1784.htm

  • 1799 - Fourth Anglo Mysore war Resulted in the death of Tipu Sultan and Msyore becoming a princely state under the yoke of the British.

    One of the motivations of Napoleon's Invasion of Egypt was to establish a junction with India against the British. Bonaparte wished to establish a French presence in the Middle East, with the ultimate dream of linking with Tippoo Sahib.Napoleon assured to the French Directory that "as soon as he had conquered Egypt, he will establish relations with the Indian princes and, together with them, attack the English in their possessions". According to a 13 February 1798 report by Talleyrand: "Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send a force of 15,000 men from Suez to India, to join the forces of Tipu-Sahib and drive away the English".Napoleon was unsuccessful in this strategy, losing the Siege of Acre in 1799, and at the Battle of Abukir in 1801.
    Both Tipu Sultan and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by the same person. In the Final siege and fall of Srirangapatna in 1799, General Arthur Wellesley led the British army into the City after the fall of Tipu Sultan. Arthur was the younger brother of Richard Wellesley, and was one of the British Generals in the Fourth Mysore War. Several years later in Europe, the same Arthur Wellesley, now the Duke of Wellington, led the armies of the Seventh Coalition and defeated the Imperial French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
    "The Death of Tippoo Saib at the taking of Seringapatam," an engraving from 1804
    Forts of Deccan & South India-h_the_death_of_tipu_sultan.jpg
    Source: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/p...ath/death.html

Thus endeth the history lesson

Last edited by procrj : 12th July 2016 at 22:07.
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Old 12th July 2016, 18:45   #3
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Default Part 2 - Maratha Forts

Part 2 - Maratha Forts

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1) Raigad - The most famous of all the Maratha forts as this was where Shivaji Bhonsle became Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Accessibility: Pune - Tamhini Ghat - Raigad seems to be the most commonly used route, which makes me categorize this as a "Drivable" fort. From the base, you can take a cable car to the top of the fort.

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Source: https://fr.tripadvisor.be/LocationPh...harashtra.html

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_raigad1.jpg
Source: http://www.mumbaitravellers.in/raigad-fort-trek/

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_raigad3.jpg
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:T...rom_Ryghur.jpg

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2) Daulatabad - One of the oldest forts in the region which was so well protected that Muhamad Tuglak decided to move his capital here and hence asked all of Delhi to move to Daulatabad. For a fort that was designed with intricate defense systems, it did pass through the hands of Bahamani sultans, Nizam Shahs, Mughals and briefly made its way to the Marathas.

Accessibility: Very accessible from Aurangabad but you will need to exercise those calf muscles to take in the view from the top of the fort. Hence classifying this as 'Mild Uphill'

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_dbad_3.jpg
Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ort_a_view.JPG

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_dbad_1.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_dbad_2.jpg
Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...i-vent-oh.html (To Aurangabad I Vent-oh!)

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3) Pratapgad - Commissioned by Shivaji and completed in 1656, at the foothills of this fort, Shivaji slayed Afzal Khan and signaled his intentions to Adil Shah.

Accessibility: Short drive from Mahabalewar with stunning vistas all around. Short trek from the parking area to the top & hence classifying this as 'Mild Uphill'

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_pratapgad1.jpeg
Source: https://unexplored.lonelyplanet.in/d...entry/297.html

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_pratapgarh2.jpg
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratap...pgarh_Fort.jpg

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4) Murud Janjira - A sea fort that was captured by the Sidis and probably the only sea fort which Shivaji & has naval might could not capture.

The Fort of Janjira on the sea is the only one of its kind. Janjira Jal-Durg (Sea Fort) was constructed by Malik Ambar, an Abssynian minister in the service of the Sultan of Ahmednagar, who belonged to the famous Nizamshahi dynasty. The fort, built at the end of the 17th Century, is almost entirely intact even today, despite the ravages of wind and tide, a testimony to the marvels of ancient engineering
During its peak of glory the island fort boasted of having 572 cannons
Accessibility: 3.5 hour drive from navi mumbai and a short boat ride later, you can witness the wonder that is the Janjira. Hence classified this as a "Drivable" fort.

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_janjira1.jpg

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_janjira2.jpg

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_janjira3.jpg

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5) Sinhadgad - Know as the Kondana fort before the battle of Sinhagad in 1670. Tanaji Malusare was one of Shivaji's generals who led the attack on the fort and defeated the Mughals who held control. He lost his life during the battle and folklore is that Shivaji on hearing the news of his death said "Gadh aala, panh sinha gela" - "We gained the fort, but lost the lion".

Shahaji Bhosale, as the commander of Ibrahim Adil Shah I, was entrusted with the control of the Pune region. His son Shivaji, however, refused to accept the Adilshahi and initiated the task of setting up Swarajya. He gained control of Kondana in 1647 by convincing Siddi Amber, the Adilshahi Sardar who controlled the fort, that he, the son of Shahaji Bhosale, could manage the fort's defenses optimally.
Accessibility: Short drive from Pune and a not very difficult climb up to the fort. Hence classifying this as 'Mild Uphill'

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_sgad1.jpg
Source:http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...thar-ghal.html (With my TUV300 to Sinhagad Fort, Balaji Temple, Narayanpur & Shivthar Ghal)

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_sgad2.jpg

Last edited by procrj : 12th July 2016 at 21:47.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:38   #4
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Default Part 2 - Maratha Forts (continued)

6) Panhala - Folklore credits the aphorism of Raja Bhoj & Gangu Teli to Panhala fort. I would never use this phrase again if I knew its backstory

According to legend about the Shilahara king, Bhoja was building the fort of Panhala (Pranalaka) near Kolhapur in South Maharashtra, but the walls kept collapsing during construction. The king's astrologer recommended the sacrifice a woman and her newborn to appease the gods of the mountain. Gangu Teli was the only person nearby whose wife had just delivered, so Gangu, puffed up with self-importance, offered his wife Jakkubai and his newborn child as a sacrifice. A tomb exists inside the Panhala Fort for Jakkubai and her child
The famous Marathi poet Moropanta (1729-94Ad) was born and brought up at Panhala. There is also the Samadhi of Ramachandra Amatya, the author of Ajnapatra, an important work on statecraft, including construction.

Accessibility: Drivable all the way upto the fort gate, Panhala can be reached from Kolhapur. Classifying this as "Drivable"
  • Resources:
  • Gmaps: https://goo.gl/maps/MqdAV7dKGAp
  • History & Details:

    In 1659, after the death of the Bijapur general Afzal Khan, in the ensuing confusion Shivaji Maharaj took Panhala from Bijapur.In May 1660, to win back the fort from Shivaji, Adil Shah II (1656–1672) of Bijapur sent his army under the command of Siddi Jauhar to lay siege to Panhala. Shivaji Maharaj fought back and they could not take the fort. The siege continued for 5 months, at the end of which all provisions in the fort were exhausted and Shivaji Maharaj was on the verge of being captured.
    Under these circumstances, Shivaji Maharaj decided that escape was the only option. He gathered a small number of soldiers along with his trusted commander Baji Prabhu Deshpande and, on 13 July 1660,they escaped in the dead of night to flee to Vishalgad. Baji Prabhu and a barber, Shiva Kashid, who looked like Shivaji Maharaj, kept the enemy engaged, giving them an impression that Shiva Kashid was actually Shivaji Maharaj. In the ensuing battle (see Battle of Pavan Khind), almost three quarters of the one thousand strong force died, including Baji Prabhu himself. The fort went to Adil Shah. It was not until 1673 that Shivaji Maharaj could occupy it permanently.
  • Tlogs:
    http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2076156 (Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!)

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_panhala1.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_panhala2.jpg
Source:http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2076156 (Recce into Maharashtra in Swift D!!!)

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7) Tikona - Tikona & Tung are twin forts and feature among the string of forts which were used by the Maratha's to control & ward off enemies. Not much is know about its history except for the fact that this was an important part of the Maratha empire.

Accessibility: Drivable upto Tikona Peth post which you will "Wish you were 20 again"

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_tikona1.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_tikona2.jpg
Source:http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...kona-fort.html (Back to mother nature and a piece of history Part II - Family Trek to Tikona Fort)

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8) Shivneri - Birthplace of Shivaji, this place is a large fort with not a lot of structures remaining intact. The ascending path to the fort is defended by seven gates, the fifth one being armored with anti-elephant spikes.

Accessibility: Drivable upto the fort entrance and hence classified as 'Driveable' but do note that its a long walk to the top
  • Resources:
  • Gmaps: https://goo.gl/maps/HqiRavivLEH2
  • History & Details:

    Shivneri Fort (Located at an elevation of 2260 ft) is one of the most prominent forts of Maratha Empire which is known for its military base. This fort is equally known as the birthplace of Chatrapati Shivaji and is located at a distance of 3 kms from Junnar and roughly 125 kms from Pune.
    As the state was facing continuous threat of war, Shahaji the father of Shivaji shifted his family to the Shivneri Fort. Strong walls and sheer rock cliffs on three sides ensured Shivneri was well protected. With the well built strongest boundary walls this fort is considered to be the most secured fort in the Maratha Empire. Shivaji was born on 19th February 1630 and spent his entire childhood in this fort. The fort has a wide base towards the south and a narrow point towards the north. The fort has a small temple which is dedicated to goddess Shivai Devi after whom Shivaji received his name. The fort also includes the statues of Jijabai and young Shivaji which are placed towards the southern part of a small lake called Badami talab. The lake is centrally located inside the fort which receives water from the two streams called Ganga -Jamuna that flow in front of the fort.

    The fort is surrounded with strong walls and passes through seven large gates to reach the actual fort viz - Maha Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Peer Darwaja, Hatti Darwaja, Mena Darwaja, Kulup Darwaja and Shivai Devi Darwaja. The entrance is protected with strong gates and strong boundary walls which protect the fort from all sides. All the seven gates of the fort are marked by some unique feature. Most exceptional is the fifth gate which is armored by anti elephant spikes. The top of the building offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. Shivneri fort sits in the midst of several forts. To its north stand the forts of Narayangad and Harishchandragad, Hadsar, Chavand, Jeevdhan and Bhairavgad are also close by and this was very important strategically, because it controlled the ancient Nane Ghat Pass.
    Five dams – Vadaj, Yedgaon, Pimpalgaon, Manikdoh and Dimbhe – situated around Shivneri are also popular picnic spots.
    Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3170310 (Albatross (Safari Dicor Lx) goes Fort Hopping)
  • Tlogs:
    http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3035870 (Around Pune : Go SLO - Shivneri, Lenyadri, Ozar)
    http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3170310 (Albatross (Safari Dicor Lx) goes Fort Hopping)

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_shiv1.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_shiv2.jpg
Source:http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3035870 (Around Pune : Go SLO - Shivneri, Lenyadri, Ozar)

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9) Sindhudurg - Commissioned b Shivaji and constructed between 1664-67, this is again an island fort which must have played a key role in establishing the naval supremacy of the Maratha's. Located close to Portuguese strongholds, this fort should have been able to intercept European ships and ensure that the malvan coast is not infiltrated. There not a lot of information regarding how this fort was used by the naval forces.

Accessibility: Get to the Malvan jetty from Kolhapur or Goa and then take the boat ride to the fort.
  • Resources:
  • Gmaps: https://goo.gl/maps/8qDgo3nuFkk
  • History & Details:

    The area of the fort spans 48 acres. Once full of buildings it is now a mere shell with nothing but a few temples dedicated to Mahadeo, Jarimai, Mahapursh, Bhavani and Shivaji, the only one of its kind in the country. If you visit the fort in the early evening it is most likely you will hear devotional music from the radio in the huts of a few gabits. These gabits are actually 8th generation of the servants of Shivaji. They continue to live within the confines of the walls at a salary of Rs.80 per annum, the same sum their ancestors received from Shivaji raje.

    In 1765 after the rule of Shivaji an expedition under the joint command of Major Gordon and Captain John Watson of Bombay marine were sent to speedily reduce the fort and they gave it the name of Fort Augustus. As the fort was very hard to dismantle and unprofitable, it was returned back to the Marathas, then Kolhapur chief, in return for peace in the area. These Kolhapur pirates known as the Malwans were the most active and desperate of all coast corsairs.
    Source: http://sindhudurg-paryatan.com/

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Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FP76vv4kQR...urg%2BFort.jpg

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10) Harishchandragad - An ancient fort with mentions in various puranas, this place is every trekkers dream. Konkankada is mesmerizing and maybe even hypnotizing.

I had mentioned that many people fall in love with this cliff. So much, that one day a person deeply madly in love...jumped off over the cliff!!! He even wrote a letter saying I am jumping off just because I love it. It is a weird madness which cannot be explained in words. There is an unusual kind of attraction which you experience standing there. This might not happen at the first time. Might not happen with anyone at all. But those who experience it, share a strange feeling of the temptation to jump. Not die, but they wish they had wings and just jump and fly there. I suffer from it. I started to feel this from my 3rd trip onward. Sitting there a thought comes to mind of having wings and just jump and fly. I know this sounds insane and crazy but it happens and it happened with me. I realized this and from then try to avoid going near. I help my fellow trekkers to see it but keep myself away. There are lot of cliffs in Sahyadris but only at kokankada one feels this. Many call it cocainekada, since it gives a different kind of high.
Source: Dodge Viper's post (Wandering in the Sahyadris)

Accessibility: Wish you were 20 again. period!

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_hgad1.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_hgad2.jpg
Forts of Deccan & South India-m_hgad3.jpg
Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3627477 (Wandering in the Sahyadris)

To be continued..

Last edited by procrj : 12th July 2016 at 22:09.
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Old 12th July 2016, 22:24   #5
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Brilliant thread! Who says this forum is only about cars. This can be as varied and as informative as it can get.
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:22   #6
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Amazing man! Great effort of summarizing the important historical personalities and places. Consider myself very fortunate to be able to visit these forts multiple times.

It breaks my heart to see the Tourism department's negligence in terms of maintenance and conservation of forts. I see a big time revenue earning opportunity if government puts in little effort in conservation, cleanliness and marketing of forts.

No offense, but I have paid double digit entrance fee in foreign currency to visit some non sense, overly hyped museums in Europe.(Belgium's Atomium is the best example) All they do is marketing. I always feel that we have great places and history that world needs to know.
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:53   #7
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Great efforts Procrj! Rated 5 stars.

Those who are from Pune are lucky to have so many forts around us.
Our trekking group had been to most of the these forts.
Rajgad & Torana are also another important forts.
Rajgad was capital for Maratha Empire before Raigad. This fort is little difficult to trek & reach to top. But it's really worth to trek in Monsoon.
Torana is first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj at the age of 16.
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:36   #8
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Appreciate the Effort you have put in to compile this. Excellent photos and good information.

Though I am not keen on forts, but read through your write up as it was brilliantly put through and crisp.

The only fort I have visited is the Chitradurga Fort in Karnataka.


Last edited by GTO : 14th July 2016 at 08:45. Reason: Typo
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Old 13th July 2016, 14:23   #9
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Appreciate your effort in gathering information and sharing with us. I am not much into history myself but my wife is going to dig this big time. Passing on the link.
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Old 13th July 2016, 22:57   #10
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Default Re: Part 1 - Brief History

Originally Posted by procrj View Post
A brief peek into our History

This post will provide a brief background and history of the Deccan region, which will set the context for various snippets that I have included in the below posts.

Attachment 1528047
Sorry but have you verified the correctness of the information contained in this chart. There are numerous errors. Here are some as examples,

a. Talikote / Talikota is mis-spelled as Tallikonda.
b. The Talikote/ Talikota war concluded during 1565 and not 1574.

A wonderful thread nevertheless.
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Old 14th July 2016, 15:12   #11
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Excellent effort to summarize the real treasure of India. Rated 5 stars.

I am planning to visit Harishchandragad since ages but somehow its not happening. Your thread has just pushed the desire much more. This monsoon season its a must visit.
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Old 14th July 2016, 16:36   #12
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Excellent thread giving a glimpse of the forts in Maharashtra. Fortunate to have visited all these and few more multiple times.

In all there are close to 350 forts in Maharashtra, highest in any state. Many of them were conquered by Shivaji Maharaj and some them were built by him from scratch.
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Old 15th July 2016, 18:29   #13
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Dear Procrj, thank you for the effort and diligence to put together this comprehensive thread on the Forts of the Deccan & South India. Very well written. Loved the bit of the rockets of Mysore and the terms Tippu Sultan laid down for the British. Rated a richly deserved 5 stars.

In the 1970s Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg became names of the Indian Navy's first warships armed with surface to air missiles (SAMs). Proud names.

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INS Vijaydurg

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INS Sindhudurg. Sindhudurg was the first Indian warship to use its SAMs to shoot down an incoming sea skimming anti-ship missile. I am sure Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would approve.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 15th July 2016 at 18:30.
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Old 17th July 2016, 12:56   #14
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Default Part 2 - Maratha Forts (continued)

11) Vijyadurg - Probably one of the oldest forts on the coast. Estimated to be constructed between 1193-1205 by Raja Bhoja II. Shivaji captured the fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1653 and renamed it Vijaydurg
During the time of the Peshwa's, Kanoji Angre made Vijaydurg the capital of his territory along the coast in 1698. When the Maratha empire started to loose ground to the East India Company, the batttle of Vijaydurg in 1756 marked the end of the Maratha navy. And all of this due to the infighting between the Peshwa's and other Maratha clans including Angre's who controlled the sea coast after Kanoji.

Some interesting snippets

According to unconfirmed reports, there is a 200 meter long, undersea/underground tunnel from the fort to the palatial Dhulap house in the village. Supposedly, the roof of the tunnel has been pinched to protect it from landslides and it is also well ventilated. Now the tunnel is partially blocked. If the presence of the tunnel can be confirmed, and the tunnel cleared, it could serve as a tourist attraction of historical and architectural interest.

Recent oceanographic evidence supports the existence of an undersea wall, constructed out at sea at a depth of 8–10 meter depth undersea.Made of laterite, the wall is estimated to be 122 meter long, 3 meter high & 7 meter broad. Attacking ships often met a watery grave after colliding against this wall.When the Siddhi of Janjira was going to attack Vijaydurg, he got a message from Portuguese telling him that they had lost 2 of their ships while they were nearing the fort
Accessibility: Very much drivable from Goa, Ratnagiri or Kolhapur.

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_vjdurg1.jpg
Source: http://tourmet.com/vijaydurg/

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_vjdurg2.jpg
Source: https://rajeshdeshpande.files.wordpr...1/img_4052.jpg

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12) Purandar - The birthplace of Sambhaji and one of the first forts to be captured by Shivaji during his early years.

Purandar fort is known for the historical battle of Marathas against Mirja Raje Jaising who was a Rajput general, working for Aurangazeb. While Jaising attacked on Purandar fort, then Murarbaji Deshpande was the Maratha commander who fought hard to retain the fort. But unfortunately he lost his life while fighting against Mughal army. According to treaty of Purandar Shivaji gave his 23 forts along with Purandar to Aurangazeb. It was a big loss for Maratha Empire but after within some years Shivaji captured and brought all of the 23 forts back. He won the Purandar as well after around 5 years of treaty.
Source: https://fortsandcavesinindia.wordpre...purandar-fort/

Accessibility: Wish you were 20 - assuming you want to trek to the top of the fort. Else its a 1.5 hour drive from Pune to the base of the hill

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_purandar1.jpg
Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._Landscape.jpg

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purand...andscape_2.jpg

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Statue of Murarbaji Deshpande at the base of Purandar
Source: https://fortsandcavesinindia.wordpre...purandar-fort/

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13) Suvarnadurg - Severndroog Castle is a folly situated in Oxleas Wood, on Shooter's Hill in south-east London in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was designed by architect Richard Jupp, with the first stone laid on 2 April 1784. Confused?

Suvarnadurg Fort (spelt Severndroog in English) is a fort that is located on a small island in the Arabian Sea, near Harnai in Konkan in Maharashtra. It was once considered to the one of the strongest sea forts ever built in India. Named Suvarnadurga or “The Golden Fort” it was considered as the pride or the “feather in the golden cap of Marathas”. Apart for defense it also had ship building facility.

The building of the fort is credit to Adilshahs of Bijapur but it came under prominence when it came in the hands of the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji. It comprises of the sea forts as well as a network of 3 land forts for its defence. This group of forts formed an impregnable fortress to protect the Maratha empire from the sea.

Chhatrapati Shivaji realized importance of Sea power and hence established a strong navy. But the Maratha navy reached the epitome of its power under the powerful Maratha lord Kanhoji Angre (1667–1729). Kanhoji Angre was the admiral of the Maratha Navy. In 1713, the fort of Suvarnadurg was formally handed over to the Angres by Chhatrapati Shahu of Satara. Kanhoji Angre established complete power over the west coast of Maharashtra stretching from Mumbai in the north to Vengrula in the South. His power was a great impediment to the British expansion in Konkan region and hence, the British dubbed him “Angria, the pirate” and Suvarnadurg was dubbed a “Pirate stronghold”.

Consequent to the demise of Kanhoji Angre in 1729, the fort of Suvarnadurg passed in the hands of his son Tulaji Angre. He fell foul of the Peshwas. The Peshwas conspired with the British to defeat the Angres. The Peshwas and the British launched a joint attack on Suvarndurg fort. The joint siege of the fort lasted from March 25 to 2 April 1755. On 12 April 1755, Commodore James captured the fort and formally handed it over to the Peshwas
Sir William James, who captured Suvarnadurg fort from the Angre family, and in whose memory the Severndroog Castle was built
Source: http://akshay-chavan.blogspot.in/201...varnadurg.html

Accessblity: Drivable from Mumbai or Pune but not much stands inside the fort walls right now.

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Source: http://akshay-chavan.blogspot.in/201...varnadurg.html

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Source: http://akshay-chavan.blogspot.in/201...varnadurg.html

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14) Vasota - Not a lot is know about the history of this fort but is famous for its views from top as well as the journey that you need to experience to reach to the top.

Accessibility: Wish you were 20 again

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_vasota1.jpg
Source: http://www.mumbaitravellers.in/main/...li1.jpg?58d63f

Forts of Deccan & South India-m_vasota2.jpg
Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...a-img_1239.jpg

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Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...-img_bells.jpg

Well that's the end of the Maratha forts that I wanted to highlight.
Coming up - Part 3: Focusing mainly on the Forts that passed hands of multiple empires.
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Old 26th July 2016, 15:01   #15
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Default Re: Forts of Deccan & South India

Wow! Brilliant! You seem to have some wonderful travels in the last couple of months! Keep it coming! :-)
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